This is an article to shine light on the obnoxious things that are said to pregnant women. Between my girlfriends and I, we’ve heard them all! I’m presenting this in a lighthearted – yet serious – manner. If you read any of these and say to yourself, oh yes – I’ve said that, then we invite you to put a positive EMPOWERING twist on things next time you get the chance!
I think it’s time to be clear that communication matters; in fact, what you say to someone who is in a potentially sensitive state may effect them negatively (or positively) for a few hours. HOURS! Maybe days. That’s their life impacted by the words you choose. Choose wisely. Be mindful. Don’t throw up your negativity, snide remarks, or internal envy upon them. I speak for thousands 🙂
Let’s look at it this way: if someone wouldn’t say these things to an overweight person, what would make them think they could say it to the species who is GROWING THE NEXT GENERATION OF HUMANITY!!? Seriously. Our first thoughts are often “why aren’t they just thanking me for creating a human being from scratch, in such a healthy mindful way?”
There is a softened gentle way to speak with someone. Why is it that people can at times have a tendency to blurt out such rude things to a woman carrying a miracle inside her body, but it’s not okay to make a comment to someone who is “fat”? Exactly. Both are uncalled for and not considerate. If one is not okay, then the other is not okay.
I’ll demonstrate what feels appropriate, kind, and thoughtful to hear. I’ll share the kind of things people can say abruptly without thinking first, and then the comment that would be positively received by the soon to be mama! Take notes. 😉
Short and sweet, sharing several that are most common offensive ones that me and my pregnant gal pals would like to obliterate from the English language.
Inappropriate: “You are So Big!” “You look huge!”
Appropriate: “You look really healthy” “You look radiant” “Pregnancy looks good on you” “You look so beautiful”
Inappropriate: “You look so small!” “You look like you haven’t put on enough weight”
Appropriate: “I can only imagine the amazing level of nourishment you’re providing to your little angel” “You body is handling pregnancy so amazingly well!”
This is NOT a compliment. It’s implying that someone may look unhealthy, real thin (which is not conducive to what your body needs to do during pregnancy) and cannot support.
DON’T MAKE A WOMAN DOUBT HERSELF OR THE HEALTH OF HER BABY UNNECESSARILY. These kind of comments can put her into a tailspin wondering if her baby is getting enough of what she needs, when 5 minutes before she had no concerns or doubt whatsoever.
Inappropriate: “Omg – you are bursting!”
Appropriate: “You exude with radiance”
Inappropriate: “Are you having twins, or triplets?”
Appropriate: “Your baby is so blessed to have you as a mother” “Your baby is going to be so very healthy thanks to you”
LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS ONE. 99% of the women I asked what kind of comments they received during pregnancy, heard this. What would go through someone’s mind to ask such a harsh question? It’s as if the world has never seen a pregnant woman, and assumes she should weigh just a little bit more than before she got pregnant. Let us remind you – normal weight gain is 25-35 ish pounds, and this is the weight needed for a fetus to flourish and grow into a perfectly healthy baby. Full term is full size people.
Inappropriate: “You sure you want to eat all that?”
Appropriate: “Yes darling, I do. At this moment in time, I’m hungry.” Have you ever been pregnant before!!?
Inappropriate: “Your back must be killing you!” “You must be in so much pain”
Appropriate: “How is your body handling the extra weight that you’re not used to?”
Inappropriate: “Yep, you sure do look like you have swollen feet and ankles”
Appropriate: Just don’t look down and glare at her feet. It’s not your business. Of course her feet hurt or may be retaining fluid after standing for hours! Unless you’re offering a foot and lower leg rub, keep your eyes where they belong 😉
Inappropriate: “My labor was SO LONG … X many hours! It didn’t go as planned either. It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt. You cannot even prepare for that kind of agony.” “You’re having a home birth? Oh, be sure you have a back-up plan in case things don’t go as expected, just in case…”
Appropriate: We already know this, and have this knowledge, and a plan. Avoid this conversation all together unless it’s initiated by her. Unless you have a positive birth story to share, it is not healthy, healing, or conducive to share negative stories that make their way into the subconscious mind. If you haven’t fully processed and accepted the journey you experienced, it may be nice to get support and talk with someone who is NOT pregnant. Preparing someone for the “worst” is imposing your beliefs & experiences them, and unacceptable. This action can change the woman’s mindset all together, and instill great fear into her. Please do not do this!
Inappropriate: “Your life is over” “Life as you know it will never be the same” “Good luck … it’s really going to be rough, everything will change”
Appropriate: “A whole new world is opening to you, you must feel so blessed” “You’ll enjoy this change so much, it ignites the very best in us”
People will expect you to believe that what happened to them, will happen to you. NEWS FLASH: we create our realities with our thoughts, beliefs, and actions. Therefore, my (or your) life will look differently than that persons, especially if I (or we) want it to. Remember that. Life is a CHOICE.
Inappropriate: Going up and without asking, touching and putting your hands on her belly.
Appropriate: “I have never touched a pregnant woman’s belly, would you mind if I did?”
This gorilla just makes me laugh! Every preggo mama has felt like this 😉 Inconsiderate remarks can be HURTFUL even deep down (and not shown on the surface) – we don’t know another person’s state of mind so it’s best to just be kind. The world is asking for more kindness anyway…
My response – and friends – will either respond with “Um, NO. (thinking: that was not funny) – or may get defensive, or sassy if they’re like me LOL – like don’t they know what they’ve just said? UGH. Careless words spoken as if it doesn’t matter.
Keep in mind, I’m speaking from a light place, with humor, and yet it’s important enough to write about it. Every single pregnant woman I’ve joked about this with has taken things personally or been caught in the wrong moment when she’s already having an internal struggle, and at least 1 comment can be taken the wrong way.
My point? BE MINDFUL. Think before you speak. Avoid making rude comments. As pregnant women, we go through a lot – and it’s not easy to relate to unless you have lived it. There is most definitely a time and place for humor, in fact my house is filled with laughter, jokes, playfulness, and hilarious comments. Bringing this light energy into your pregnancy is wonderful – up to a certain point that feels GOOD to the feminine, and certainly is not pushing her past her emotional limits.
Tell the women that you see that you’ll walk in their footsteps if you admire their approach to enjoying a sacred pregnancy. Remember that you may likely deal with all this if / when you do ever get pregnant – it came as quite a surprise to me! Expect the very best from people, and know that there is a defined percentage of people who walk on our planet unconsciously.
If you’re one to value self-growth and personal development, then you are already on the path to communicating more consciously. Continue to watch your words. Choose when and how to speak. Hold the other persons heart as yours, and avoid conversation that has an energy of being vengeful, rude, or critical. This is our evolution – getting better and better at how we live our lives and express ourselves! NAMASTE dear friends!